News Headlines - 24 February 2021

Japan elite bureaucrats punished over scandal involving Suga's son

Japan's communications ministry reprimanded 11 officials on Wednesday for ethics code violations after they were treated to expensive meals by officials of a broadcasting company, including the eldest son of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
Following an internal probe, the ministry said 13 officials violated the national public service ethics law, which prohibits receiving favors from stakeholders.

Aichi police begin probe into forged signatures found on recall petition : The Asahi Shimbun

Police here began a criminal investigation on Feb. 24 into alleged widespread forgery tied to a campaign to recall Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura.
Investigators searched the offices of a number of local election administration commissions and gathered the petitions submitted for the recall effort.
The Local Autonomy Law prohibits forging names on a petition. Those found guilty face a maximum three years imprisonment or a maximum fine of 500,000 yen ($4,700).

No charges against officers involved in Daniel Prude's death

Police officers who put a hood over the head of a mentally distraught Black man, then pressed his body against the pavement until he stopped breathing will not face criminal charges after a grand jury declined to indict them, New York’s attorney general announced Tuesday.
Daniel Prude, 41, died last March, several days after his encounter with police in Rochester, New York. Police initially described his death as a drug overdose. It went mostly unnoticed. But nightly protests erupted after body camera video was released nearly six months later following pressure from Prude’s family.

Gérard Depardieu: Rape investigation into French actor - BBC News

French actor Gérard Depardieu has been formally placed under investigation over accusations that he raped an actress at his home three years ago.
The woman accuses him of raping and assaulting her in Paris in August 2018... The arts world in France has been shaken by a series of accusations of sexual abuse against leading figures.
Mr Depardieu, 73, is one of the country's most famous actors, known for films including Jean de Florette, Green Card and Cyrano.

Police seize biggest ever heroin haul at Rotterdam port -

Police and other investigators have seized a consignment of 1.5 tonnes of heroin packed in a container of Himalayan salt which arrived at Rotterdam port from Pakistan, the public prosecution department said.
The haul was made on the basis of information supplied by the National Crime Agency in Britain.
In total, five people were arrested following a raid on a property in Etten-Leur two weeks ago... The drugs had a street value of €45m, the public prosecution department said. The haul is the biggest single consignment of heroin ever seized in the Netherlands.